There wasn’t anything fishy taking place on Main Beach New Quay over the weekend. In fact, The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales are delighted to announce that their world record attempt and 20 year celebrations event was a huge success! The Wildlife Trusts Cardigan Bay Marine Team were joined by TV Wildlife Presenter Iolo Williams who launched the world record attempt over the weekend.
The world record attempt aimed to create the ‘largest gathering of people forming the shape of a dolphin’ on the Main Beach, New Quay. The target for the superpod shape was 300 people, well over 330 people attended. To make the human superpod look like a dolphin attendees were asked to wear a blue or grey top and dolphin masks were provided on the day.
Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre (CBMWC) was established in 1996 as a non-profit organisation dedicated to conserving the marine life of Cardigan Bay through research and education. In April 2015, CBMWC became part of The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales and are delivering the Trust’s Living Seas Programme.
Steve Hartley founder of the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre said, “the event was a celebration of 20 years of the CBMWC and marine conservation, it was also our opportunity to highlight the hard work, support and dedication our volunteers have provided over the years”.
Sarah Perry, Living Seas Science Officer said, “As a former volunteer myself I know how difficult it can be to gain valuable experience in the environment sector in order to gain employment, not only does CBMWC provide this opportunity, but our aim is also to inspire the local community as well as future generations to help look after the marine environment”.
Dr Stephanie King, Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia and member of the Shark Bay Dolphin Research Alliance volunteered at CBMWC for six months in 2006. Dr King says "My time volunteering at the CBMWC provided me with an invaluable, unique experience that without doubt benefited me in my chosen career. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to support marine conservation work in Wales through my time at CBMWC and to have the opportunity to be inspired by the Cardigan Bay dolphins. I know that many other people have also benefitted greatly from the fantastic opportunities available; I thoroughly enjoyed my time in New Quay working with a fantastic committed, professional team of people. I continue to collaborate with the staff and volunteers based at the CBMWC, focusing on the vocalisations of the bottlenose dolphins of Cardigan Bay."
Other marvellous marine activities on the day included an interactive marine wildlife rescue demonstration from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue, story telling with Puffin Pal and his Island Friends and marine arts and crafts from a variety of stalls. Massive congratulations to Llanarth Primary School who won the local school marine art competition sponsored by Celtic Sustainables.
Gina Gavigan, Marketing and Development Manager for The Wildlife Trust said, “We are absolutely delighted with all the support we received on the day. Hundreds of dolphin wannabes of all ages filled the dolphin shape to create our human superpod. It was great to see so many families with young children taking part and showing an interest in marine conservation”.
The Wildlife Trust would like to thank Dolphin Survey Boat Trips, Ceredigion County Council and Celtic Sustainables for sponsoring the event, thank you to all the schools for submitting entries to the art work competition and all the stall holders for helping make the event a great success, and also thank you to those who donated raffle prizes. A special thank you also to Iolo Williams and all our dedicated volunteers for their support and hard work over the last 20 years. Images and video footage including the world record time-lapse will be available shortly on The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales website www.welshwildlife.org.